As summer draws near once again, we’re all sure to be be bitten by the travel bug. When you head out on the road, whether for a leisurely daytrip or a coast-to-coast family vacation, your smartphone will be an invaluable companion. From getting accurate directions to finding the hours of that quaint new coffee shop or art gallery, it’s like having a personal concierge service right at your fingertips!
I love finding new apps to make my travels even easier, and nowadays there are so many good ones that it’s almost hard to choose. Here are three I’ve added to my traveling library recently that offer both a dash of fun and excitement, and flat-out unbeatable convenience.
If you’re in the mood for free-flowing adventure, I highly recommend Field Trip. As you’re traveling, it scouts the area around you, and when it finds a unique or interesting place nearby, a card pops up on your screen with full details. This includes historic places, interesting art and architecture, plus more standard offerings like food and drink—including special deals and offers.
Need help staying organized on the road? Google Trips Travel Planner is the answer. With just a few taps, you can save your flight, hotel, or rental car information here. It lets you collect all of your travel documentation in one place, and is even available without being connected to data or WiFi, so you’ll always have access to your documents. When you are connected to data, it will also give you weather information, and recommendations on things to see and do near your location.
One of the apps I’ve come to rely on most, both at home and on vacation, is Waze. It’s a community-based traffic and navigation app that gives you a real-time look at traffic along the route you’re traveling. This is especially handy if you’re driving in a new area—traffic patterns are a little different everywhere you go, so a little inside information can make all the difference in helping you avoid traffic jams and find the quickest way to your destination. It really saves you time, and reduces headaches!
All of the apps mentioned here are free, and can be used with either your Android smartphone or your iPhone. Along with your sun tan lotion and toothbrush, I think you’ll find them to be an indispensable part of your next big road trip. Happy trails!